Imposters pretending to be water utility employees are trying to collect residents’ money or sell water treatment devices, San Diego’s Public Utilities Department warned Wednesday.
The suspects have been going to local homes and presenting themselves as city employees. They then try to get inside the home or collect customers’ money for their water bills, officials said.
According to the city, the impostors also try to sell residents devices to treat their water, making “false or misleading statements” about the water’s quality and contents.
“We want to assure you that the quality of your water meets all the state and federal drinking water standards,” the city said in a news release.
Officials listed some tips on how to tell a true water department employee from a false one.
They said check for an employee badge, uniform and their vehicle, for real city employees usually drive a car or truck with the city of San Diego logo.
Some workers, like meter readers, may drive personal vehicles, but they should always have the proper badges and uniforms, the city said.
If employees have to take water samples, they mostly do it outside the home, and they are not responsible for fixing problems or testing in homes. The city said workers rarely have to go inside.
Water staff members do not collect money for bills in person, they do not do sales while working, and they never deliver rebates or refunds.
When you do need to talk with the Public Utilities Department, workers will schedule an appointment. You can always ask for their supervisor’s name and phone number.
If you feel uncomfortable, do not let anyone in your home, the city warned.
Report suspicious people to the Public Utilities’ Emergency Hotline at 619-515-3525 or the San Diego Police nonemergency line at 619-531-2000.